Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar was the only daughter of a Sydney physician and politician. She led a cultured and well educated life, travelling extensively with her parents.
The initial draft of Core of My Heart, later re-named My Country, was written when the homesick nineteen year old, Dorothea, was living in England.
The poem first appeared in the London Spectator, in 1908, and over time a national sense of patriotism arose, confirming My Country as the iconic Australian poem.
Dorothea Mackellar’s works include four volumesof verse and a novel. She also co-wrote two novels.The inspiration for her poems undoubtedly came from the time she spent on the family’s rural properties, around Gunnedah, New South Wales.
In 1984, the “Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards”, was established and has grown into a nationwide poetry competition for all school students throughout Australia.
Other literary works include The Closed Door, The Witch-Maid, and Outlaw’s Luck.